Category: Archive

Soccer Scene: Makelele shines in Blues’ battling win

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It was Drogba’s shear strength and determination that got him on the ball as he out-paced and out-muscled the Arsenal defender. His second was even clearer as to just how hungry he was to score and win for his Blues.
After breaking away once again to go one on one with Lehmann Drogba then went through a couple of tackles to steer the ball home. His aggressive tackles to maintain possession made the Arsenal defenders look timid. Three Arsenal defenders tried to chase back to the rescue only to look disorganized and weak in a tackle. Early days indeed it is but one thing is for sure Drogba on the day had a better winning mentality than his immediate opponents.
The Community Shield game was once thought of as a friendly opener to the season when it was called the Charity Shield. The manner in which Chelsea carried out defending their own half suggests they have no friends in football. Central midfielder Frank Lampard darted around in front of his defense putting in some outrageous sliding tackles.
It seemed he didn’t care if he caught the opponent, which he did on more than one occasion. Jose Mourinho obviously motivated his side to win every tackle in the game and that’s what Chelsea did. Lampard wasn’t a patch on his usual self with raiding runs to the edge of the box and letting go several shots in 90 minutes. However there was reason for that.
Once Chelsea scored they sat in and hit Arsenal on the counter attack. While Arjen Robben was a threat down the flank he never really penetrated behind the Arsenal defense. The same could be said for Damien Duff. He played a somewhat subdued game but Arsenal could not afford to take their eye of either winger. The Gunners seemed preoccupied with the threats out wide. It just goes to show how strong and fast Chelsea are, because if the wingers are not succeeding then there are always big central threats like Drogba and the formidable and powerful Eidur Gudjohnsen. And behind the big 6-foot, 13 stone Icelandic machine is the aforementioned Lampard. This attacking group has so many options it’s frightening what they can do to opposition when they switch gears.
The pace in this Chelsea side is electrifying. What’s also intriguing about this side is they also know the game really well. They are obviously coached at a top level too. They are so organized that it’s very clear what areas players are responsible for. Such definition regarding space is very much based on the impeccable brilliance of Claude Makelele who solidifies the team and allows attacking players to express themselves.
He stopped most if not all of Arsenal’s attacks. And if he didn’t stop them he made it very difficult for Henry and Co. to actually shoot on target. Sunday also showed just how good the sitting midfielder can pass the ball, skip out of trouble, and indeed go forward. While he is known for his lateral role in midfield where he
intercepts play last Sunday he was able to show off his array of talents. What a buy the Congo-born star has proven to be. He’s arguably the best at what he does. Ask ex-Real teammates Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo.
Since Makelele’s departure from the Spanish giants those particular superstars have not functioned as well. He is sorely missed in midfield for Madrid. But he has settled in at Stamford Bridge after reports that he became disillusioned with life and the game at the Bernabeau.
There were some concerns about his future as a footballer but Mourinho knew he was getting a bargain and a half at

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